I would imagine that most of the world’s population will breathe a sigh of relief to know that the United Nations global arms treaty as been approved by at least 154 votes.

However, the testimony of this will be how many lives will be saved from the sale of arms around the world.  Bearing in mind that this is a multi-million dollar industry, can we honestly believe that nations that use to get their weapons freely and now will be curtailed as to the amount they can acquire and the reasons that they need them is going to obey the rules, or is the black market going to flourish.

No one can honestly object to this brave move by the United Nations and kudos to them taking this step.  Of course as Britain William Hague as stated, “this is an historic day and a major achievement of the United Nations, the world wanted this treaty and would not be thwarted by the few who sought to prevent the introduction of robust, effective and legally-binding controls on the international trade in weapons.”

It is important that we support such move by the UN, but one cannot help but be skeptical about the policing of such a landmark decision.  There is no doubt that we need to control the sales of arms, to ensure that they do not end up in the hands of the undesirables and those who are willing to use them to suppress others.  Considering, as reported in the media arm trade globally is worth $60 billion, do we believe that all countries is going to abide by the rules.

According to media reports regarding what the criteria are, the  treaty prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. It also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

The aspects of the treaty that I find extremely worrying is where it states that a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists or organized crime. They must also determine whether the weapons transfer would contribute to or undermine peace and security. We are depending on the honesty, integrity and dignity of a country to ensure the rules of the treaty is obeyed and we are only too painfully aware of the manner in which human beings behave and in my opinion, there are a few countries that I would trust with that decision.

Irrespective, of how gloomy I believe that this treaty is I still believe that the UN had ever right to put this in place and I further hope that I am proved wrong and that nation will begin to ensure that weapons do not get in the hands of those who are willing to use them in a counterproductive manner, all that we can do at this juncture is to wait and see how effective this brave move by the United Nations will be.

By Sandrea: My Opinion with excerpts from the media

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